AmSafe Bridport - Hold Fast

Written by: Dassault Systemes UK Ltd | Published:

The UK's leading aerospace cargo restraint system manufacturer has derived business and production benefits from CATIA 3D methodology and now stands to reap further rewards from integrated Dassault Systèmes PLM.

With a tradition going back more than seven centuries AmSafe Bridport is part of an international company that develops, designs, manufactures and installs aircraft cargo restraint systems incorporating high-level textile and mechanical engineering.

Based in a historic building fronting a modern production facility the company deploys Dassault Systèmes CATIA with plans to evolve to ENOVIA SmarTeam PLM technology to maintain an innovative approach and complete control over its business processes.

Mark Trafford Head of Quality and Engineering explained how the technology in place provides AmSafe with the methodology to stay ahead in a fast paced business environment. "Using a combination of textile, steel, alloy and composite components AmSafe manufactures a range of products including arrester barriers, lashing devices, smoke curtains, under-slung and hook systems for helicopters as well as cargo restraints supplied as turnkey systems for which the company takes on the considerable responsibility for the design and performance "

Secure Properties
He continued, "Our products are used in many aircraft applications and must perform their function with absolute assurety throughout their lifecycle. Using Dassault Systèmes technology we are able to develop and digitally optimise our products in relation to their application. Since we are part of the Airbus supply chain we use the same design and development technology and this has brought about some very advantageous business benefits for us.'

AmSafe Project Engineer, Chris Latham takes up the story, "Since we changed to Dassault Systèmes 3D technology our designs have improved in terms of weight reduction, improved strength, overall optimisation and more economical material usage. Also, by fully integrating our 3D designs with those of the OEM aircraft manufacturers that we supply, we are assured of a right first time development that will be the best solution for form, fit and function.

"CATIA integrates with our Finite Element Analysis programmes and allows us to optimise designs quickly and efficiently making the best use of device fixing points and other system properties, always assured that we have developed the best possible solution."

Mark Trafford continued, "Aircraft that are bulk loaded use cargo nets to hold the freight steady during ascent and descent or at times of turbulence. Cargo shift is very dangerous and can cause a significant imbalance in the plane's trajectory. AmSafe utilises CATIA to develop retaining systems for cargo loads up to 25,000 lbs at 9g; these often incorporate metal chains and tensioning devices all of which are designed in 3D".

Pulling Shapes
"Using software to calculate the best load distribution across the fabric, with advanced intersection patterns we are able to maintain our competitive advantage by producing products that are more advanced than other market contenders."

AmSafe is able to design faster, produce better representations for analysis, optimise and then realistically visualise while supplying data throughout its supply chain in formats best suited to recipients needs. "Because of the advanced design and development capabilities that it provides, CATIA has opened doors for us that would otherwise remain closed."

Mark Trafford spoke about how Dassault Systèmes Technology was provided and is being maintained, "We work with UK Value Added Reseller, Intrinsys which initially installed our Dassault Systèmes technology and provided training, and bureau services to ensure quality and accuracy of design intent are maintained."

Seamless Progress
Having laid the foundations of a 3D PLM system AmSafe is in a strong position to develop a software framework incorporating Dassault Systèmes ENOVIA SmarTeam to provide a data repository and allow control over work flow and business processes. Intrinsys has provided AmSafe with consultancy services to advance the benefits that ENOVIA could deliver and how incorporating its methodology would ease further business developments.

Mark Trafford concluded, "AmSafe maintains its premier position in the market by offering innovation coupled with quality in all areas. CATIA allows us to speed the process of innovation by automating much of the design cycle both within and beyond our enterprise. By offering seamless integration with FE and other systems, and allowing design intent to be maintained through to manufacture, our components, products and systems have improved and been optimised for both manufacturability and service life.

"CATIA has become a vital component of our production process and has helped expand and strengthen our position as a complete solution provider. AmSafe UK has taken maximum advantage of CATIA's capability and the efficiencies that it offers and is looking forward to further developments that will allow us to retain our heritage while progressing our business in a truly advanced production environment"

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